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Biblical Outline: Psalms


Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


In this Series, we are going to further our in-depth study of each book of the Holy Bible, breaking each book into the major themes and topics contained therein. Today we'll outline the nineteenth book of the Bible, Psalms.


DATE

A. The dating of the Psalms is difficult for several reasons:

1. the individual psalms have a particular occasion that caused them to be written

2. at some point the words of one psalmist became the words of the community of faith

3. the psalms were collected through an editorial process into five books

B. The Psalms include poems from all periods of Israel's life:

1. Jewish tradition says:

a. Adam wrote Psalm 139

b. Melchizedek wrote Psalm 110

c. Abraham wrote Psalm 89

d. Moses wrote Psalm 90

2. Modern scholarship has divided the Psalms into three major periods:

a. pre-exilic (books, I, II, & IV)

b. exilic (book III)

c. post-exilic (book V)

C. It is obvious that many of the Psalms are attributed to David:

1. David was a musical composer, player, and singer, 1 Samuel 16:16-18

2. He initiated and organized the Levitical music groups, or Temple singers, 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:43, 25:1-31; 2 Chronicles 29:25-30

3. The first two books of the Psalms are attributed to him, Psalm 72:20

4. His Psalms appear in all five books of the Psalmist


THE STRUCTURE OF THE PSALMIST

A. There is:

1. a general introduction (characteristic of a righteous person) — Psalm 1

2. every one of the five divisions of books ends with a doxology, 41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52; 106:48

3. a general close (doxology) — Psalm 150

B. Characteristics of the Five Books

1. Book 1 — Psalm 1-41

a. all but 4 attributed to David (1; 2; 10; 33)

b. YHWH as title for God predominates, YHWH — 273 to Elohim — 15

c. the historical setting was possibly David's days in conflict with Saul

2. Book 2 — Psalm 42-72 (72:20 shows editor)

a. Psalm 42-49 to sons of Korah (except 43)

b. Elohim as title for God predominates, Elohim - 164 to YHWH - 30

c. the historical setting was possibly David's days as King

3. Book 3 — Psalms 73-89

a. Psalm 73-83, Asaph

b. Psalm 84-88, sons of Korah (except 86)

c. 26 psalms attributed to David

d. YHWH as title for God 44 times; Elohim 43 times

e. the historical setting was possibly Assyrian crisis

4. Book 4 — Psalm 90-106

a. Psalm 101; 103 to David

b. Psalm 90 to Moses

c. all others anonymous

d. YHWH used 104 times; Elohim - 7 times

e. the historical setting was possibly Babylonian crisis

5. Book 5 — Psalm 107-150

a. Psalm 119 is an extended acrostic on God's Word

b. YHWH is used 236 times; Elohim 7 times

c. Psalm 146-150 are praise psalms which all begin with Praise the Lord

d. the historical setting was possibly hope in God's future blessings


Numbering of Psalms Varies

1. Jewish tradition

a. Berachoth 9b — Psalm 1 and 2 counted as 1

b. Shabbath 16 — total number of psalms was 147 to match the years of Jacob's life

2. Greek translation

a. Psalm 9 and 10 are together making one acrostic psalm

b. Psalm 114 and 115 are together, both being Hallel Psalms

c. Psalm 116 and 147 are divided into 2 each

3. The number of Psalms may be related to the annual Scripture reading cycle of the early synagogue


Ways of grouping the Psalms

1. by theme or topic

a. hymns of praise

(1) to God as creator, 8; 19; 104; 139; 148

(2) to God in general, 33; 103; 113; 117; 134-136; 145-147

b. hymns of thanksgiving, 9-10; 11; 16; 30; 32; 34; 92; 116; 138

c. laments/dirges/complaints

(1) corporate, 12; 14; 44; 53; 58; 60; 74; 79; 80; 83; 85; 89; 90; 94; 106; 123; 126; 137

(2) individual, 3-7; 3; 17; 22; 25-28; 31; 35; 38-43; 69-71; 86; 88; 102; 109; 120; 130; 139-143

d. hymns of kingship

(1) God as king, 47; 93; 96-99

(2) King of Israel or Messiah, 2; 18; 20; 21; 45; 72; 89; 101; 110

e. hymns about Zion, 46; 48; 76; 84; 87; 122

f. hymns of liturgy

(1) covenant renewal, 50; 81

(2) priestly blessings, 134

(3) about Temple, 15; 24; 68

g. hymns about wisdom, 36; 37; 49; 73; 111; 112; 127; 128; 133

h. hymns about faith in YHWH's faithfulness, 11; 16; 23; 62; 63; 91; 121; 131

i. condemnation of false gods and idolatry, 82; 115

2. by author or speaker

a. hymns of David using mostly YHWH as the name of Deity, Psalm 1-41

b. hymns of David using mostly Elohim as the name of Deity, Psalm 51-72

c. hymns by David's Levitical musicians and singers

(1) Korah and sons, Psalm 42-49; 84-88

(2) Asaph and sons, Psalm 73-83

d. hymns by praisers, Psalm 111-118; 140-150

e. hymns by pilgrims coming to Jerusalem to worship at a feast day, Psalm 120-134

3. by historical events in Israel's history based on superscription or content, Psalm 14; 44; 46-48; 53; 66; 68; 74; 76; 79; 80; 83; 85; 87; 108; 122; 124-126; and 129


May we establish, nurture, and grow a sincere love for the word of God, and study it lovingly & faithfully.


I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.


May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation


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